« ÎnapoiContinuați »
F. then laid it down, seeing the effect was not good, and some less drunken members of the party dragged the fellow away. Law has no influence over these Rowdies. Violence must be opposed to violence.
“The Flower family has bought out a good many of these wretches. One however, more violent and lawless than any yet known, still remains, of the name of Jack Ellis, the son of an old and industrious settler from Indiana, who says that he expects this son will some time murder his mother; and that if God does not take him, he, his father, must kill him himself.
“ This rascal, with several others, in addition to their hunting, go round stealing free negroes, on pretence of being employed to find runaways. The
poor blacks are thus cruelly taken and sold at New Orleans. I saw Jack with his rifle after a negro, in the employ of Mr. G. Flower, who had armed the poor fellow in defence of him. self againt Jack, whum the settlement wish to be shot." P. 277.
Such is the land which Birkbeck endeavoured to people with his dupes. Such is the land of which the noble' and double-wived Mr. Flower declares (p. 301,) that it is more healthy and suitable to Englishmen than any part,' and that its cultivators have soil, climate, and market. Poor Faux does not perceive that three-fourths of this information consist, by his own statements, of monstrous falsehoods.
But enough of the Birkbecks and Flowers, and their silly self-complacent eulogist. He brought his body safe out of the bogs, and took it back to Washington. The only adventure which awaited him there, was an acquaintance with Mr. Law, brother to the late Lord Ellenborough, and the present Bishop of Chester. And one of the most offensive parts of Mr. Faux's book is the account of that gentleman's remarks upon his relations in England. The relations have no reason to complain. But their expatriated brother cuts a most ridicnlous figure, and talks wholesale nonsense about his native land. He foresees an impending famine, which is to sweep off half our population, and all our establishments. And Farmer Faux, whose wbeat will not sell for three pounds a quarter, retails this stuff with a grin of satisfaction, because it was told him by a gentleman. If this ponderous tome should find its way across the Atlantic, it may teach Mr. Law more caution in his communications with English strangers. However pure their Republicanism, however simple their Socinianism, they cannot sympathise with the feelings of the educated classes, they will invariably note down his chit-chat, in their pocket-books, and print it at home in hopes of turning a penny.
One circumstance which has repeatedly forced itself upon
our attention during the perusal of this work, is the intimate connection between American Freedom and Negro Slavery. Generally speaking, there are no free labourers in the United States. Small farmers work their own lands. Great farmers must depend upon blacks. In the newly settled country Mr. Birkbeck says that“ it ought not to be expected of him," (for what reason this deponent saith not) “ that he should encumber himself with much business," (p. 283), and “ Mr. Flower intends to form a society for freeing blacks and employing free blacks,” (p. 276.) When the society fails, as undoubtedly will, he must employ unfreed blacks, or leave his merinos to starve.-Equality and independence are handsome words, especially when they are limited to the untanned skin. Such is the common acceptation of them in America, and if Mr. Faux is an accurate recorder of the gossip which has rendered his Days Memorable, it is an acceptation which must be perpetuated throughout the country. Every body can see what must bappen if there are no labourers whatsoever. When there are no labourers but negroes, the triumph of Republicanism will be complete.
ART. IX. Observations on the Judges of the Court of
Chancery, and the Practice and Delays complained of in
that Court. 8vo. pp. 70. Murray. 1823. We hope that Lord Chancellor Eldon has spent a pleasant long vacation, and is about to return with increased energy to his important duties. He cannot have failed to enjoy many a hearty laugh at the stupidity and virulence with which the radical press have assailed him during the summer recess. We say nothing of the parliamentary debates respecting his court and his conduct. The speeches of Messrs. Brougham, Denman, and Williams, were all in the way of business ; and the second of these gentlemen had the candour to inform the House that his two learned friends and coadjntors bad personal motives for condemning the Chancellor, and that he bimself had narrowly escaped being in a similar predicament. To such a declaration nothing could be added. It furnished a clue to the whole debate: it told us why Lord Eldon was assailed in the Commons, where he could not be present, rather than in the Lords, where he might have answered for himself. It told us why his accusers were men who practised in other courts, and had only hearsay acquaintance with Equity. It told us why charges, which Romilly never ventured to prefer, were arged with becoming impartiality, temper, and weight, by the counsel for the late Queen.
It may be said, in their defence, that they followed Sir Samuel's example. That great Chancery lawyer, who was employed in every suit, and actually retarded the business of the nation by being engaged to plead in three courts at a time, was indefatigable in his endeavours to improve the criminal code. The opposition lawyers of the present day happen to have some slight experience in that branch of their profession, and in a genuine spirit of contradiction, confirm their parliamentary exertions to a reform in Chancery! As one of the numerous freaks of senatorial caprice, this may
be all very well: but moderate men will suspend their judgment upon such grave accusations, until they hear them proved by the evidence of men who have no political end to serve, no personal pique to indulge, no mortified vanity to gratify, no injury, real or imaginary, to revenge. When such persons sball institute an enquiry into any of our courts of justice, proving themselves acquainted with the real state of the case, and bringing forward a tangible and serious grievance, they will be listened to, arretis auribus, from one end of the kingdom to the other.
But we fear that Lord Eldon is not likely to meet with so much fair play; and we fear it, not on his account, but for the credit of the profession, and the Parliament. A glimpse at the radical newspapers, for the last three months, will shew that there is a regular design of upsetting the Chancellor : and we know the writers too well to believe that they are not encouraged in more respectable quarters. They have ceased to abuse the king; they bave meddled more sparingly, than is their wont, with the Bishops and Clergy, and dischargé all their venom, lies, and nonsense, against a single head. This is preparatory to some ulterior proceeding. The Times and Chronicle are mere money-making under conjurors and puppets; but whether it is Joseph Hume who pulls the string, or whether it is Mr. Williams who is chalking out a short cut to the Temple of Fame, time will sbew.
We observe, that the health of the last mentioned gentleman was drunk at the Cheshire Whig Club, in connection with a reform in Chancery; and that the compliment was acknowledged in a suitable speech. In the course of the evening the company were treated with a repetition of Mr. Brougham's assertion respecting the premiership of Lord Eldon; but there was this amusing difference, that while Mr. Brougbam was notoriously in jest, and made some facetions remarks at the expence of the Chancellor and his colleagues, Mr. Williams and the Cheshire Whigs were in downright sober earnest. They laid violent hands upon the fag end of one of Mr. Brougham's secoud-rate jokes, and converted it into very mirthfui tragedy. Lord Eldon was treated as bona fide Prime Minister, and the company had the rare good fortune to prove their bonesty and wisdom at the same moment. Their honesty, by admitting that the proposed reforma in Chancery was neither more por less than an attack upon a political enemy; their wisdom, by, fastening upon a piece of transient drollery, and believing that it was an historical fact.
It is impossible to speak too harshly of this odious partyfeeling. Men who cannot distinguish between the Cabinet Minister and the Chancery judge, are not qualified to talk politics even at a country club. We quarrel with no man because he is in opposition ; generally speaking, such a person is playing the part for which nature designed bim, and would be infinitely mere mischievous if be changed his side. Let him persevere, therefore, in adnairing his political friends, and vilifying his political enemies; but he forfeits every pretension to candour and judgment, by pursuing his foes into private or professional life, and impeaching a Magistrate because he happens to be a Tory. This conduct only tends to defeat its own object. Nobody will listen to such prejudiced accusers as those who lead the forlorn hope in the storm of Fort Eldon. If there had been any part of that pobleman's conduct which stood in need of concealment or pardon, be would have found bis best screen in the bigoted injustice of his enemies.
There is one charge against him which, we believe, may be substantiated, that of being too slow in pronouncing his decisions. To this offence he has often pleaded guilty, and we presume not to appeal from his authority. The effects of this failing are sorely aggravated by the forms of the Court over which he presides : and if any practical Chancery lawyer would bring forward a plan for expediting basi aess, he would be entitled to our best thanks. In every stage of a suit time and money are wasted as if they were either endlesss or worthless. The proceedings are so complicated, that clients cannot presume to comprehend them. . Implicit confidence must be placed in the solioitor in nine cases out of ten. Three notices are given when one would suffice. Amended Answers, and Supplemental-Bills, and Cross Bills, and Rehearings, and Farther Directions, are so many insuperable stumbling blocks to the uninitiated; and it is difficult to conceive that such a system is incapable of improvement. But what has the system to do with the Chancellor ? or what has the Chancellor to do with the system? He did not make, and he cannot unmake it. He administers it as few men ever did, or ever will. His vast and varied merits, and his own great defect are known and acknowledged from the top of the profession to the bottom. Every one feels that it would be most difficult to supply his loss. And the faction which can run down and ridicule such a man, is only less contemptible than the public, which tamely witnesses their misconduct.
We are aware that there are many political reasons for hating and persecuting the Chancellor. He is regarded as the great Cabinet peace-maker, and it is hoped that schism might blossom and bear fruit if the Ministry were deprived of his ability, experience, and good temper. These are solid grounds of opposition antipathy; but they are pitiful motives for assailing the integrity of a Magistrate, or exaggerating the defects of a Court of Justice.
Another offence of which Lord Eldon has been condemned, and must be punished, is bis interference with the profits hitherto accruing from the exclusive sale of Lord Byron's blasphemy and obscenity. The Chancellor has informed the scribbling fraternity that they are no longer to make money by atheism. To punish their crimes is not within his Lord. ship's province: but he has refused to exert his power for the protection of their property, and the sensitive creatures have taken alarm throughout their tribes, and biss like so many unfed geese. We should expose ourselves to merited ridicule, if we undertook to vindicate Lord Eldon's decision against his host of anonymous castigators. Nothing short of the sentence of a superior court will suffice to convince the country that the Chancellor is in the wrong: and if he is in the wrong, which there seems no reason to believe, bis error has neither infringed nor endangered the liberty of the press. The dissemination of infidelity, vulgar and refined, bas received no material check. But the dealers in that article are left to their action at law, instead of being permitted to creep for safety under the Chancellor's gown. When a jury has consented to indemnify the publishers of Don Juan and Cain